Nope, not the reproductive kind (did you really think I would write something about that!? Come on now). I’m thinking a little more broad than that. By pro-choice I mean ALL choice.
Have you ever noticed how, at times, life can distract us from how lucky we are that we have the right to choose what we do with our lives?
We make choices every day. In fact, the majority of things in our lives are really just a compilation of different choices that we’ve made. And this is not a bad thing (even though late night t-bell runs may not feel like the best choice…not that you heard it from me) because we should be endlessly grateful for the power of choice that we have.
Think about it…
You do not have to go to work. You want to go to work. Even if sometimes it feels like you have to, nobody is actually physically forcing you to (unless maybe you work for the mob and they actually will kill you if you don’t… ouch). What the reality is, typically, is that you either enjoy your job, or you want to make money. In order to do that, you make the choice to go to work. You don’t have to get things done by a deadline, you want to because you want to succeed at the task, because you want to do well at work. It’s not that you can’t do something while at work, but that you don’t want to because you don’t want to get in trouble, etc.
We have choices in our personal lives too.
Sometimes we’ll say “I have to go to the gym today” or “I can’t do (fill in the blank) tonight because (fill in the blank)“, when in reality, you don’t have to do anything.
You are given the gift to have the chance to go to the gym, if you want to. You’re given the gift to stay home and do whatever you want, if you want to. And if you choose not to hit up a workout class or go to yoga or meet a friend for coffee, or go out, then call it what it is: you didn’t want to.
By acknowledging this power of choice, what we’re really doing is giving respect to those who, in this world or the past, really didn’t have choices.
These people are members of an adverse tribe in Rwanda, or Somalia, or other war-torn areas, that actually can’t help the tribe, or race. or religion, etc. that they were born into, therefore they don’t have the power to choose what they do with their every day life. An example from the past were the individuals in concentration camps during the Holocaust that couldn’t choose to leave, or to not be Jewish, or to not enter gas chambers.
These are the people that have to do things. And there are countless other examples as well.
So I suggest that we give those folks the respect they deserve in their absence of choice by utilizing and acknowledging that we get to make choices so much in our lives. Hopefully we can all give those choices thought and make those choices count, and if not then at least empower ourselves with “wants” and “don’ts” rather than victimize ourselves with “have to’s” and “can’t’s”.